The Watering Hole Blog

Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life

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Updated March 13th, 2024

 “Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get a Life” Book Kicks Butt

“The problem is never a lack of time. The problem is poorly defined priorities.”

– Larry Winget, “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life”

Okay, I know it has a rather rude title – but the truth hurts 🙂

It was a VERY good book! Reading it certainly lit a fire under my butt when I read it years ago.

And in my humble opinion, the best proof of the effectiveness of a self-help book is the change it actually leads to in one’s life.

It is one thing to read self-help books; it is quite another to implement the advice offered. Reading is passive; change is active. Click To Tweet

“Shut Up, Stop Whining & Get A Life” by Larry Winget strongly resonated with me for multiple reasons.

Here’s one example:

“What you think about, talk about and do something about is what comes about.”

Obvious, yes. But here’s the thing: when I stopped and really thought about it, I realized that when it came to an issue I supposedly cared deeply about, such as climate change, I had to admit that I had been very strong in the ‘thinking about’ and ‘talking about’ part of the equation – but the ‘doing something about’ part, not so much.

And here’s a nugget that speaks to the higher purpose of our lives:

“People who understand that their purpose is service to others live lives of abundance. Those who do not just live their lives.”

I took NINE pages of notes while reading “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life.” But I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me because it was during seminar by Brian Willis, a mentor of mine, that I heard about the book in the first place…and I took eighteen pages of notes in the last seminar of Brian’s I attended!

Here’s another comment from “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life” that really resonated with me:

“When you stop letting things slide and start taking advantage of every moment then amazing things happen. The little stuff matters most. Everyone gets the big stuff. Very few take care of the little stuff.”

As you may have surmised, I was (still am) a chronic note-taker.

I love writing stuff down. I have neat little piles of scrap paper stored at various strategic locations throughout my home, so that whenever an idea comes to mind (which is frighteningly often) for say, a blog topic, I can quickly jot it down it so I won’t forget. Then I file it away in it’s respective folder and carry on with my day.

Now the astute reader may recognize a wee bit of a problem brewing with this system. Yes, that’s right: I had enough brilliant ideas scrawled on scraps of paper to sink a battleship. I had a very elaborate filing system.

Idea-generating and record-keeping were not a problem; getting my ideas to market in a timely manner was where I struggled.

I tended to spend so much time on the big stuff – which for me is my larger writing projects such as books, screenplays and play scripts – that I’d miss countless opportunities to write and post smaller, informative blogs that would help me reach the very audience I wish to eventually reach with my larger projects.

Although this was due to a variety of excuses – ignorance, lousy time management, disorganization, procrastination, poor prioritizing and so on – in the end it doesn’t matter.

What matters is that I identified the problem and figured out a way to correct it.

So at some point, I did just that. I took Larry Winget’s suggestion and starting to take better care of the little work-stuff by making the time to write more short, useful blogs on all sorts of different subject matters – and post them and get them sent out through social media.

What a concept!

Of course, Winget was right: amazing things did start to happen. I began reaching more readers and started to form strategic partnerships with like-minded people.

“The problem is never that we do not know, it is always that we do not DO what we already know.”

– Larry Winget

If I didn’t think I would ever actually use the hundreds of blog ideas I so diligently wrote down on slips of paper, then I highly doubt I would’ve written them down in the first place. I just didn’t know how to start using them…I was overwhelmed. And rightly so. Because I couldn’t write fifty blogs in a week, so as to make a dent in the pile. But I could write one – or two. And I did.

And once writing a weekly blog became a habit, I stuck with it. 

That’s the coolest thing about a self-help book such as “Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life”: it is chock full of suggestions that we already know are true – we just need a kick-in-the pants friendly reminder.

In closing, I will leave you with this quote from Winget:

“Do what you say you are going to do, when you said you were going to do it, in the way you said you were going to do it. No excuses.”

I have thought a great deal about this over the years – and I guess what it boils down to is being impeccable with our word…living up to our promises. Sometimes this is difficult to do because circumstances change and unexpected things happen.

But I think if we can strive to do our very best to honour the commitments we have made – both to ourselves and to others – it really does help make for a life of integrity.

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. She is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a co-founder of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive Maryanne’s blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.


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